Is the Best Social Media Metric Making People Care About Something?

Is the Best Social Media Metric Making People Care About Something?

Cassie Roma, Head of Content Marketing at The Warehouse Group, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss social storytelling that makes people care.

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Full Episode Details

Human Connections Through Social Storytelling

Whether you work in B2B or B2C, whether you’re trying to reach new customers or engaging with returning customers, you’re ultimately working towards the sale. However, as you’re likely aware, it’s not as simple as just telling people about your product.

The world is full of competition and noise. You’re not only competing against other businesses with similar products but against the general flood of content that fights for everyone’s attention. In the end, the only way to truly connect with your audience and turn them into customers that keep coming back is to make them care.

People care about people, and humanity defines the connection between your business and your audience. By keeping that humanity front and center through social storytelling, your products become the medium through which your customers engage with someone (your business) they care about.

In This Episode

  • Where social fits within the bigger storytelling puzzle.
  • How to use storytelling to show the human aspect of your brand.
  • How social differs between the U.S. and New Zealand.
  • How to “woo” your customers.

Quotes From This Episode

“We are looking at social as a piece of the bigger storytelling puzzle.” — @cassieroma

Data is not going to be helpful until we can actually pull out a true human insight. Click To Tweet

“Remember the human at the other end.” — @cassieroma


See you next week!

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Episode Transcript

Jay:Hey, everybody, it's Jay Bayer from Convince and Convert. Welcome back to the social pros podcast. I am joined, as always, by my special Texas friend. He is the executive strategist for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He is Adam Brown. Man, what a show this week.
Adam:What a show, and a good afternoon to you, Jay. As we recorded this show, afternoon for us but not for our guest. It was two weeks Sunday [crosstalk 00:00:28] where our guest was, right?
Jay:Yeah, I don't how many hours behind we are from [inaudible 00:00:34] I could probably ask Siri or Alexa about that, but I think it's Saturday morning for her and Friday afternoon for us. She's in Auckland, New Zealand. She's the head of content marketing at the Warehouse Group. I tell you what, not only does Cassie know a ton about social content and storytelling, but she's just wise. She's just a really good person. I know that sounds ridiculous and kind of pat to say, but, man, she drops some serious, serious knowledge bombs on this episode, where I was like, "Man, I gotta write that down." It's pretty extraordinary.
Adam:I have to agree completely, Jay. The word wise is so appropriate. There's so many things I think we do in marketing and communications, and they're all about the call to action and things like that. But what Cassie I think articulated on the show was really the emotional side. And the real human existence side of what we're trying to do. And kind of the mantra that she lives by in terms of marketing at the Warehouse Group, of getting humans to care about something. And that is significant to me.
Jay:It is a significant show, one of my favorite episodes in a long time. And if you get a chance to see Cassie, or meet her, take the time to do it because she's really something else. Also, a pretty serious Elton John reference in this episode that you're not going to want to miss this week on the Social Pros podcast.
Hey everybody it's Jay Bayer from Convince and Convert, thanks so much for listening to the Social Pros podcast. A quick note to thank this weeks sponsors of the show, including our friends at Co-Schedule, recently named to the Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies, congratulations Co-Schedule. They are the all in one marketing calendar, combining project management, email marketing, and social promotion in one place. Get complete visibility over your entire marketing schedule. Keep your sanity and get more done with Co-Schedule. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself, saves my team 10 hours a week, we use it constantly. Get your free social strategy template plus a rundown on how Co-Schedule can save you a ton of time as well. Go to, that's, I really recommend it.
Also this week, the show is brought to you, as always, by our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, love these guys. Look, social is more important than ever for B2B marketers yet some in B2B have a hard time using it effectively. If you haven't downloaded the new book from Sales Force called "The Social B2B Guide", make sure you do it before we take it off the website. Go to, bitly/socialb2bguide from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it's called "The Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers", all kinds of great content in there about what social channels to use, how to measure more effectively, how to use influencers more effectively. It's great content, grab it no cost, bitly/socialb2bguide. And now this weeks Social Pros podcast.
Cassie Roma is this week’s guest on the Social Pros podcast. She's a head of content marketing at the Warehouse Group. She is dialing in ladies and gentlemen from Auckland, New Zealand, one of the great cities of the world. It's like a million o'clock four days from now as she is dialing in so thank you for taking one for the Social Pros audience Cassie, and welcome to the show.
Cassie:Thank you, thank you for having me.
Jay:For our American, and Canadian, and non-New Zealand listeners, please describe for us the scope and scale of the Warehouse Group, because it's a lot of nested companies doing a bunch of different things.
Cassie:The Warehouse Group is a pretty new group as it were. The Warehouse itself is kind of like maybe a mix between Wal-Mart and Target, so we're kind of in that middle space. Been around since 1982, very, very-
Jay:Like a Tall-Mart.
Cassie:A Tall-Mart, yeah, that's exactly what it is.
Cassie:The Warehouse ... And then we've got a stationary group below us, we've got an outdoor adventure business, which is really, really exciting. T7, kind of REI get outside kind of stuff. And we've also got a lovely electronics group, kind of good guys-esk [inaudible 00:04:53].
Jay:Retail and e-commerce?
Cassie:Yeah, all of that. All of that, and I look after the entire group, which is both mindbogglingly fun and mindbogglingly challenging. And I'm never bored, which is a good thing.
Jay:I'll bet you're not. And you're never boring. I understand that relatively recently you now have kind of a new in-house agency which is intriguingly named The Mad Sheep, which I think is not only an amazing ... I want to see a logo. Not only is that extraordinary, but it's also very New Zealand. And the Mad Sheep is supporting all of these different organization and companies within the Warehouse Group, yeah?
Cassie:That's right, that's right. I think the in-house agency model is something that's been hitting the New Zealand shores fairly recently. So I started in one as well at our biggest media company, at my last job. The Mad Sheep, if you talk about the logo, I know this is a podcast so people can't see it, but literally just look at my head, my big blonde fro.
Jay:We will have your headshot in the show notes. And also folks, you can go to, we'll make sure to get the logo for the Mad Sheep from Cassie. We'll put it on the show notes so you can check it out there.
Cassie:Yeah, but basically what we've done is we've got an executive creative director, Andrew Bergland, who's just come back from Korea and working with Europe, and overseas. He's pulling all of us Mad Sheep together, so if you think about the traditional agency model, we're basically building that in-house. But at the same time, when we build capabilities are working alongside other agency partners.
Jay:I'm fascinated when people create in-house agencies now, here in 2018. And you've been doing social, and content, and story telling for quite a while now. Do you feel like the org. chart, and the roles for personnel are different today than they would have been before in terms of who handles what and how the reporting structure is for social, and content, and digital, and all the jazz?
Cassie:Yeah. I think ... And a lot of the businesses specifically here in the Australasian world are starting to see that we need to pivot a bit towards a different way of working. Here at the Warehouse Group we still have a lot of traditional org charts happening, but with a new CMO who's come on board, and American fellow called Jonathan Waker, he's definitely shaking that up in the sense that we're building for the future now. And the future being a much more kind of fluid and collaborative way of working across brands, across marketing, and really, truly believing in that omnichannel approach, not just multi-channel but omni. So that's where I get to come in and really use my passion and the depth of experience around storytelling and interweaving the customer journey, not just in the social and digital, but understanding how it's going to sit above the line, below the line. And how all of the brands then, in the group, can kind of be really reciprocal to each other. It's a fascinating and a fun time.
Adam:It sounds like it. And want to follow up on Jay's question and ask it a little bit differently because I think you're exactly right. The way that the organizations are structured is different. I'm curious Cassie, as head of content marketing, if the way that you approach storytelling is changing now with social being more ubiquitous?
Adam:I think, in the past you would create kind of a strategy, a content strategy that would be multichannel, multi-platform, and social would be kind of in there. Is social, now, more kind of at the head of the class as being a primary driver of that story, or is it still kind of moving around as a multiple ... Platform multiple channel type of exercise?
Cassie:That's a fantastic question because actually ... the way that I've always looked at social, thank goodness it's still alive after all of these years. People did question it, didn't they, in the beginning. The way that things are happening now within organizations, and specifically in places like the Warehouse Group where I am today is that we are looking at social as a piece of the bigger storytelling puzzle. We're building stories for depth and for engagement. For a long time, specifically here in New Zealand, because I haven't been home for 15 years, I'm not sure how it has been in the States so much. But we've been building for that bottom of the funnel, that "Let's reach one person, let's get super, super defined and targeted".
And we've kind of forgotten that storytelling piece. So I was kind of that mad marketing professor going around and going, "Hey guys, don't forget about the top of the funnel". Top of the funnel for me is basically starting with social, it's starting with breadth and reach. It's telling your story, it's understanding the why, and then it's hitting that mid-funnel and working our way to the lower end of that funnel. The important part of it ... It think storytelling has become the backbone of what the organization is starting to move to now. And it'll take time, I think, here, but definitely, definitely it's one of those pieces where social is our lead, it is our driving factor.
I know working a few years ago at New Zealand's national airline, social media became the first place to go to when we would go through kind of crisis and other kinds of, I guess just, training programs because we had to move from, "Oh, let's put out a press release" to a "people are going to be on Twitter should anything happen".
Cassie:"People are going to be Instagraming". And we're kind of moving that way now into retail. So instead of just going, "During crisis moments we're going to hit social first", it's going, "How do we build from a place where we're going to hit head and heart, and get that happy brand tickle to eventuate into sale or some foot traffic in-store?"
Adam:And I think that's a perfect segway. In terms of retail, and as you and Jay mentioned the Warehouse Group, multiple brands kind of in that Warehouse so to speak. So different products, different set ups. But the storytelling that you're crafting, the storytelling that you're sharing in social media, is it really about the Warehouse Group and your brands, is it about the products and the services inside the store? As retail changes, I'm curious how the storytelling around retail is changing as well.
Cassie:I think a lot of it is, because we have so many different brands here I get to kind of play in all of the playgrounds, if that makes sense. So the Warehouse being almost the flagship brand of the group, we have a lot more space ans wiggle room to tell the bigger stories, the human stories, the social impact stories, the environmental impact stories. Whereas if we work our way to the electronic shop, which is usually worked on kind of price and product price, and product.
Cassie:We're now digging into how do we add value from a content perspective? From a social media content perspective? And that's going ... Maybe people want to understand how to utilize their new tech. Maybe they need somebody like Geeks on Wheels, we've got our passionate experts. How do we build stories around the human aspect of what our customers are looking for? When we think about Torpedo 7, our outdoor brand, I'm so excited to really get my teeth into that one because there are so many more kind of top of the funnel stories to tell. So dependent on the brand actually, the way that we tell stories through social is different. But what I'm trying to kind of [inaudible 00:12:08] into all of our social iterations and stories is that we can tell a really broad brand story. But at the same time, we can also dial that down and distill it down into some really cool price and product stories as well, dependent on how we target people, dependent on how we re target people. If we use our data and our platform super smart then we'll be able to hit all of the right places at the right time.
Jay:Cassie, how come so many companies are so bad at storytelling?
Cassie:I think people forget the actual humans at the end of a click. You know, I study a lot of the anthropological sides of how our marketing affects people and what actually makes people warm to a brand, what makes somebody like me, who's a Nike mad human being from the time I was probably three, four, five, why I still feel that way when ... I know it's a brand, and I know it's fallible. Playing in that, "Let's just tell a really good story and do quality over quantity", I find a lot of businesses still, especially in New Zealand and Australia, are going quantity, quantity, quantity, just get content out there. Whereas my ethos is "Slow down, what is the human at the end of your story? What is the click that you're trying to get? What does that mean to the person who's interacting with you?" And I don't think a lot of brands put enough time and emphasis on the heart and soul of the human on the other end.
Jay:Meanwhile social media and to some degree content marketing are getting more and more measurable. More technology, more software, more data, maybe that's not necessarily a good thing.
Cassie:I am a firm believer, and I love data, but it's not going to be helpful until we can actually pull out a true human insight. For retail, it has been fascinating because retail is really, really fast. It moves, and it moves, and it moves, how do we pull insights quickly out of the depth of data we have and then turn that into something fun, or interesting, or helpful? My complete belief is that if we give to people, and give, and give without the brand asking, people will start to kind of take our stories onboard, make them their own, and tell them back in a positive way. So that's kind of where we're sitting right now, is that giving ethos, that mantra of "How do we make the lives of our customers better?" That utility aspect is so important when it comes to social media.
Adam:You have said that success in social, and in marketing in general, is getting people to care about something. I love, love, love ... I want a poster of that and I'm going to attribute it to you. Success is getting people to care about something, and that something can be electronics, or it can be a sleeping bag, or it can be something that you sell as a merchant but not everything you sell is going to create that sense of caring.
Cassie:That's right, that's right. And I find that that is the fun part, and the real geeky aspect of my professional life is going, "How do we have somebody care about a thing?" Because really, we're in one of those social times now where we're wanting to kind of own less as people, to do better by the environment. So to your point, if it's a sleeping bag it's potentially not the sleeping bag somebody cares about, but it's the memories you're going to make when you throw it in the back of the car and you go out with your family.
Cassie:And you start to tell those deeper stories that really tug at the heartstrings. That's the caring aspect.
Adam:The thing is a means to an end, right?
Cassie:That's right.
Adam:It's not about the thing, it's about what the thing enables you to do. And i think a lot of folks who are in retail in particular tend to lose sight of that because it's like, "Okay, we've got this SKU and that SKU, and we've got to support all these different vendors. I've got this co-op program".
Adam:It can just get very, very transactional. And that doesn't usually create this wave of caring.
Cassie:That's right. And that's one of the exciting things about being part of the in-house agency right now at the ground level because we still have our day to day marketing teams just in the trenches doing amazing work. It's the tactical work. I am in the lucky position where I get to pull out and go, "Where are the moments where we can actually create some magic in people's lives?","What can we do to better their lives through social interaction, through digital interaction?" And then, "How does that translate into the real world?" So it's a very ... I guess, it's a really lovely place to be to go, "Actually, let's concentrate on four or five big things and really turn the key and make a difference while the rest of the tactical stuff's going forward". So next year when we have a really warm winter, which we had in New Zealand this year, which was amazing. We are not worried about the days being colder, so we can push more cold heaters, and retail things.
Cassie:Let's celebrate, "Ye Ha, it's a warmer winter", and then bring in a nice little pivot when it does get cold. So I love that the business is ready for that here, and I'm passionate about it.
Jay:Speaking of the tactical things, you are from the States but now have been in Auckland for a long time. People could probably tell you don't have the traditional Kiwi accent. What would you say are the primary tactical differences in social right now between what happens here in the States, and what you're seeing in New Zealand in terms of platform adoption, or content modalities? If you just had to compare and contrast, what would you say?
Cassie:I'd say the United States, and it's probably just to do with how many people ... The just population size and everything, is far ahead of us still in so much as adoption of new technologies, new platforms, and being able to really dive into the bigger, more ... Deeper rooted ones, the Facebooks, the LinkedIns, et cetera. I still, day to day, have conversations with businesses here in New Zealand about just getting on to LinkedIn, and the importance of starting up a social. So I feel like we're ... Sometimes we're five to ten years behind still, around just adopting the basics, how we engage with communities, how we build channel specific strategies. Usually a business will have a social media strategy, social sits off to the side. A lot of the time I come into a business and will say, "Come on now, let's look at how we can interweave your social into what you're doing in digital above the line, below the line. Let's see how LinkedIn works differently for your brand to Instagram, et cetera, et cetera".
So I'd say Kiwis are very, very good at doing the community side of social media here on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. LinkedIn, still being adopted, but when it comes to businesses, those businesses that are doing super, super well are usually the ones with the bigger budgets who are able to work directly with the platforms. The smaller businesses are still kind of finding their way I guess.
Adam:You know, sometimes being a year or two behind the curve isn't necessarily a bad thing because you can kind of approach social platforms, or social channels in a slightly different way. And kind of learn from the experiences, or lack thereof, of others. I'm curious kind of, because of that, if you see Kiwis using different social channels, maybe in slightly different ways then we see here. And specifically Cassie, to your point that you brought up to Jay, which I loved. The idea of getting humans to care about something. Is there one particular social platform that you feel does a better job of achieving that objective? That it's set up in an appropriate way. And maybe it's Instagram because it's visual, or maybe it's Twitter because it's short and sweet. But I'm curious kind of how you feel about different platforms for achieving that goal in New Zealand.
Cassie:I think for Kiwis specifically it's got to be Instagram 100% for achieving that deep, caring. Two years ago I probably would have still said Facebook, to be honest because people in New Zealand were still not seeing just that plethora of advertising. And the algorithm was still ... It was a sweet little algorithm still in New Zealand back then. Instagram has the depth here. People are still very open. I love Kiwis, I've been here 16 years, I am a Kiwi now, or a young Kiwi. People are still super open to interacting with brands if the brands are open to interacting with them as almost a human to human, if that makes sense.
Instagram not only allows brands to tell their story visually, but when the brands have been hopping on to things like IGTV, the adoption has been lower here than I think in the States. Again, searching off things ... Searching up videos and stuff is still hard for people. But when we get into things like stories, and we really tell stories like humans do the return for brands has been huge from what I've seen. So I think from that getting people to care, and I call it the happy tickle everywhere I go. You know, just that little happy tickle when you see a brand and you feel a little warmth, and you care about their product and their people. Instagram has been the best there. Twitter in New Zealand is fascinating. There's a very small, kind of Twitteroti we call the folks who mostly are on Twitter, and we all kind of know each other. So Twitter for brands is probably not the place to do that, Instagram would be the one.
Adam:So as head of content marketing for the Warehouse Group, Cassie, as you kind of lead, and you're saying you're probably going to start with Instagram, you're using Instagram. Do you start with the visual? I mean, as you craft these stories, and as you do that does that visual include a product? You're in the retail business, does it include a hero shot of the product, does it include a lifestyle? I'm curious kind of how that process works in your mind as you begin to put these campaigns and these posts together.
Cassie:How everything basically comes together in my brain, because I'm a very visual person, is I get into a room with a giant whiteboard. And dependent on if we're looking at a tactical campaign, or more of a long-term brand strategy, it's really going ... I always start at the end, what is our end goal? How do we want people to feel? What are our actual measurable outputs and objectives? And I work my way back through that. And a lot of the time we do story board, very simply it can be on that whiteboard or on a piece of paper depending ... I do start with the visual, quite often if we're going tactically, obviously for a retail ... Something that we're trying to sell we will make sure that what we're trying to sell is in the picture, in the shot.
What we're trying to do though is to tell much more human stories, and to really embed that, "Why you need", why do you need this? How is this going to help you? What is the social utility? How is your life going to be better with this A, B, or C product? And I'm trying to really remain true to that in the, "Let's ... If this is just going to be ... This is on sale, or this piece of furniture is 50% off, let's actually create a story and craft something around it even if it's a simple little three piece Instagram story, how do we actually want people to feel at the end, and why will they swipe up to look, to learn, to buy, et cetera? I like to definitely start at that top of the funnel side, make people giggle, make them feel something, and then work towards the hard sell.
I really feel like sometimes brands ... If we were two people meeting in a bar, a brand would say, "Hi my name's the Warehouse, Cassie, do you wanna get married?" And I say, "No, no, no we need to woe each other, you can't just have a ..." Well I guess you could have a tequila and get married, but I think there's a little bit of wooing that needs to happen as well. And a lot of businesses forget that wooing. It's very much like, "Hi my name is Do You Wanna Buy This?" Whereas I'm like, "Hi, my name is ... Can I get to know you? Oh okay, we've known each other now for three months, I think you might like this product. Or I think you might like this product better". And that's where data and storytelling have a really great little marriage I guess you'd call it.
Adam:I think a big part of that data and storytelling, Cassie, is the visual and how you kind of craft a visual look that goes way beyond just the logo that may be in the bottom right corner, or something like that. And one of the things I hear from our customers when I sit down with them is the challenges they have in creating that visual identity that goes way beyond the logo. And Cassie, with having multiple brands that sell very different things within the Warehouse Group, I'm curious how you kind of go and come across creating the different look-
Adam:So that the imagery ... I mean, from the colors to the lifestyle imagery, to the people even in the images are different for different brands. How do you create that?
Cassie:We're really lucky in that the group itself has its own social presence, so it basically encapsulates the four brands that sit below it. And then each of the four brands that we work to have their own kind of guiding lights. Not just brand guidelines, as the logo goes here, and this is the color.
Adam:Topography, yeah.
Cassie:Yup, yup. But actual calls to ... What is our call to battle? How do we feel? Who is our muse? And we work around being agile with that. As funny as that sounds, but we go, "Okay, what's kind of hot right now? How does that trend if ... Say it's street wear, how does that trend right now feel in the market? How could that trend feel in-store? And how do we marry those things together?" So when we're looking at getting the right shot, and making sure that we have the right colors, and the right people, and we cast the right talent in videos. It's a very methodical process, it's also a process where a lot of the time when we're looking at folks to cast, and the way that the clothes will fit on them, we do sometimes just look at how they shine. You know, if their eyes sparkle, or they've got a little bit of swagger. I like to always go back to not only do we understand in our head that this is a person that could suit the brand, or this is a look and a feel that could suit the brand. But they also have that something, that little magical piece that if I feel like they're lifting me up as a human our customers might feel the same.
When it comes to product shots, and it comes to creating the right, I guess, balance in an image. Or understanding where that image is going to be in the customer funnel we have a lot of amazing, amazing folks on board here that we just are allowed to just go in together as a group and bounce ideas off of each other. We test, we try, I love the fact that we are allowed to learn by failing, really quickly. Picking ourselves up off the floor and then trying again. It's a really nice way to work, to know that not everything has to be perfect every time. And we're able to learn and move forward, and consistently iterate and grow.
Jay:Cassie, you're a big creative thinker, and have been for a long time. If budget was no object.
Jay:What would you do? What would be your moonshot, social content storytelling play?
Cassie:Oh gosh, if budget was no issue I would dive into documentary filmmaking on behalf of a brand. I worked in branding content for the last two years before the Warehouse Group at [inaudible 00:27:28], which is New Zealand's largest media company. And there is so much potential to dive into the environmental piece, the sustainability piece, the customer piece. Especially here in New Zealand, we're known for being clean and green. But getting behind a business that can really dig into the daily, and the nitty gritty, and do things like the Warehouse has done, which has said, "We're not having plastic bags at all, [inaudible 00:27:56], whatever. We're going to get rid of plastic bags completely". Those are big steps, and to dive deep into proper documentary film making as a creative, that just really would blow my socks off.
Jay:I think you've got the in-house agency now, the Mad Sheep. You may just get your chance, that'd be pretty fun.
Cassie:We're talking about it. And believe me, I'm trying to sell them.
Adam:I love that idea of proper documentary making Cassie. My question for you is, is what a documentary that we kind of ... Jay, you and I kind of think about is probably the 60 to 90 minute film. Is that changed? Is because of social documentary film making different? And can we encapsulate what a documentary is within the confines of social?
Cassie:Totally, totally. That's a great point that you just made because my brain
when I was saying documentary filmmaking, was like little 10 minute deep dive videos. And whether it was a 10 part series or a 12 part series that you could share in different places in a way that fit, that was custom built for channels. So when I look into the documentary filmmaking, in my brain, in the back of it, I'm thinking of IGTV, I'm thinking of how we seed it through stories. I'm thinking of even that B2B, that LinkedIn piece of creating different focal points for the different platforms where people would be consuming it. It could be a 90 minute documentary that sits as a long form piece of content on YouTube or somewhere even different to that. But the way that I would break it up across every different channel that we could potentially break it up would include ... Are still shots, big beautiful sweeping imagery. It could be ... As people love the kind of behind the scenes, the little sweet fix. This is what's coming. Yeah, I don't think it's that stereotypical, just a 90 minute piece that would sit somewhere. It would be broken up and contextual dependent on where people were.
Adam:As it relates to kind of the behind the scenes type of content, you did that and had some fun with it in a previous life doing storytelling and marketing communications for Air New Zealand. I'd love for you to talk a little bit more about that.
Cassie:Oh, Air New Zealand was an absolute pleasure. If people haven't seen the safety videos for Air New Zealand.
Cassie:They are a [inaudible 00:30:22] ride. A lot of fun. And they're basically what Air New Zealand can hang their hat off of from a brand perspective around doing something innovative and neat from a content perspective. They were the first brand in Australasia to really get on board with social media. So being able to lead there was fun. The best thing that I loved in my few years there was how agile we could be with storytelling. I had my [inaudible 00:30:48], her name was Claire Chainey, who was one of the most amazing content creators I have ever worked with. She's very young and she's going places, love her to pieces. And we could get together and just over night go, "Hey, James Cordon has just kind of dissed New Zealand, let's challenge him to a cockpit karaoke and throw it out knowing that he's probably not going to ever respond". But the media pick up, and the way that we could share the virality though social, and all of those things meant that we could have a lot of fun.
As an airline, we joined Tinder on Valentines Day, which actually broke Tinder in New Zealand. We basically asked people to chat up an airplane, and we gave all of our four different airplanes a voice, and a personality. And we had some of the most hilarious, as you could imagine, cockpit and engineering jokes you could imagine. And the people who swiped right were able to win flights to where ever those planes flew. So just being able to do fun iterations that sat alongside the bigger brand pieces meant that we were able to actually build traction day to day from that kind of ... I wouldn't call it sweet fix, but that always on, fun contextual storytelling.
We were also able to use the data to say that as an airline, what people loved was plane porn. Literally, they loved to see our wings, they loved to see the planes flying. So what we did is strategically we added a lot more planes to our list. And it was great, it went off like a frog in a sock. And I'm very, very proud of those years.
Jay:It's terrific, and Air New Zealand has such an interesting brand tone. In fact, one of the case studies in my new book, Talk Triggers, is all about the Air New Zealand a sky couch.
Jay:Which is an extraordinary piece of inflight engineering. But it's so funny you talk about plane porn. And I think sometimes in social we tend to over complicate it, right? We're like, "Well, you know, we've got to do this [inaudible 00:32:50] documentary film, or whatever". And it's like, 'Well, what if you just showed pictures of planes?"
Cassie:That's right.
Jay:Boeing's Instagram is very, very effective and all it is is pictures of planes. One of the very first episodes ever on this podcast, I'd have to go back and look, but it might even be a single digit episode.
Jay:Was with [inaudible 00:33:08]. And [inaudible 00:33:09], the world’s largest shipper. And their entire social strategy is, "Here's a picture of a shipping container on a boat", right?
Jay:And it kills, it kills. So sometimes we just try ... Maybe we just feel like, "Well geez, if my whole social media strategy is me posting pictures of a plane, maybe I'm stealing from my company", right?
Jay:But it's ... Sometimes it doesn't have to be quite as hard as we make it here in these social pros.
Cassie:Oh, I am a firm believer in doing common sensicle things. If you're a retailer, show people what you're selling. If you're a plane company, show the planes, it makes sense. That's what people are there for.
Adam:You have lived in, and are living in two of the worlds most perfect places; San Diego, California, and now Auckland, New Zealand. And you're doing gods work of social media and marketing, and storytelling. I have to ask the question that probably everybody who read your bio on the page is asking. Is like, how the heck did you get to New Zealand doing what you're doing, and why the heck did you leave San Diego, California to do that?
Cassie:What a life story to tell. I actually left San Diego and went to college at UC Santa Barbara. At UC Santa Barbara I went on a 16 day trip through Europe and fell in love with my Kiwi tour guide, not on the tour I should say. And we ended up going on a two week holiday to New Zealand and I'm still here 16 years later. That's ... In the long and the short of it, kind of how I got here. From a professional standpoint I was a trained photographer, a videographer, and a writer. But after getting married and having a child very young, I had to pay those bills so marketing was the place where I was able to utilize my passions and align them with profession. And over the years I've just been absolutely fascinated by digital media and digital storytelling. And really understanding the anthropological effects of all of these new channels and how they are digging into our lives. And being the mother of a 12 year old, it is fascinating to watch how kids these days interact with social and advertising. And so it's been quite the rollicking ride.
Jay:Well there you go guys, you just have to marry a Kiwi. If you're like, "Hey, you know what [crosstalk 00:35:40] Auckland seems pretty fantastic". I was actually encouraging my daughter to go to University of Auckland. I'm like, "Hey, then you're a resident and you can move there eventually after your student visa runs out". I could not quite get that accomplished, but I had a big long-term plan, right? I move my kid there, and then I can swoop in under some sort of immigration law. But to no avail.
Cassie:Yeah, my parents are still hanging on to that one too. But I think they love San Diego a bit too much now.
Adam:Now that you've been there, in New Zealand, for as long as you've been. And every time I go to New Zealand I go to Europe, I go to Australia, I find that the marketing and advertising is a little bit more clever.
Adam:It just seems a little bit more creative, a little more clever, a little more wink, a little bit more immersive.
Cassie:I honestly believe that Kiwis are some of the cleverest, funniest people just on the whole ... As it is, they're a very kind of staunch people who are very much a wink and a nudge in daily life. You know if you're getting teased by a Kiwi that they love ya. If you're not getting teased, look out. And there's a lot of pride that's put into being clever with advertising. And having fun with it as well, working with agency partners over the last decade and a half, it's amazing how many of the worlds best advertisers actually have started here in New Zealand because they're fun people. But they have this quirky kind of out there way of looking at life, and of looking at humanity. And I think that comes through in the way that we advertise. We don't dumb things down for consumers, ever. I think we realized that consumers are just like us, we take off our marketing hat a lot and we go, "What would make us giggle? Or what would make us feel something in this kind of communication?" And we pay tribute to the inherent intelligence of the population, if that makes sense?
Adam:I think it's around passion. And I know there's something that you're passionate about that you shared with us right before the show. And that is a particular knighted musician, Elton John. And you're a big fan of Elton John, aren't you?
Cassie:I am a big fan, yes. I have seen Elton 21 times in the last 21 years. And actually, to celebrate this last years concert, I have an Elton John tattoo now. And of all my tattoos, it was the one that my mother just went, "Yup, okay. Yeah, I understand that. That's the one that makes sense to me". I've just ... I don't know how the love of the Rocket Man started, but it is deep, and it lives in me.
Adam:Maybe it's because he is an amazing marketer. I mean, in terms of how he's marketed his product. The cleverness of his product and brand Elton, I think, other than Madonna. You know, I put them up there in terms of people and artists who have been able to truly market and brand themselves better than just about anybody else.
Jay:Well, and to still have such an incredible career now.
Adam:Well, yeah.
Jay:50 years? 40, 50 years after he started?
Jay:I mean, that's no joke. That is not an easy thing to accomplish in a business that's so fickle as the music business. You've got to hurry though, right? Isn't this ... Like, the last tour's coming up, right?
Cassie:The last tour is coming up, which is why we went and saw him this year in February in Vegas because he's not going to be here until late 2019, I think. And by that time he'll be 72, 73. So we thought we'd better just hurry on and go see him.
Jay:There you go. Yeah, just take care of matters. Put it in your own hands, I love it.
Cassie:That's right, that's right. It's worth every penny.
Adam:Well done.
Jay:Cassie, I saw you last time at social media marketing world in San Diego this year. Are you going to be back in 2019?
Cassie:Definitely, definitely. I'm really looking forward to it.
Jay:Excellent, terrific event run by our friend Mike Stelsner. Looking forward to seeing you there. We'll tell you more about social media marketing world here this Fall. Cassie, it's been so great having you on the show. Always good to catch up with you. Congratulations on the new work at the Warehouse Group, and all the stuff you're doing at the Mad Sheep. I'm going to ask you the two questions that we've asked every single guest here on this program dating back, I don't even know, seven years, eight years, a long time. Question one, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro like Cassie [inaudible 00:39:54]?
Cassie:I would say the number one tip, and this is something I repeat all of the time, is remember the human at the other end. Remember the humanity of what you're doing, remember the passion and the daily life, and the stresses, and the joys, and the things that you feel. And remember that somebody on the other end's going to feel that. And play to that, give more then you take.
Jay:Boy that's it. I need a t-shirt of that one as well. That's really good.
Adam:[crosstalk 00:40:22].
Jay:Another t-shirt, that's two t-shirts in the same episode. Cassie last question for you, if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be? Would it be Elton John? I know you've been on stage with Elton John, right?
Cassie:I've been on stage with Elton, I've met him. So I'd have to probably think of somebody else. And I know that Adam, you challenged me to think of a Kiwi. So for me, if it was a Kiwi, I would actually love to do a video call with our Prime Minister [inaudible 00:40:51]. She is ... I don't know if you know much about her-
Jay:Yeah, first [crosstalk 00:40:55]. First pregnant Prime Minister in a really long time, like ever.
Cassie:Second in the world, first in New Zealand. She is an amazing human being. I've spent some time with her. Last year at the Auckland Pride Parade where I was the chair of the Auckland Pride board. She marched with us, that was the first time ever that an active Prime Minister actually walked an entire parade and stood in solidarity with the rainbow community. I just want to chat with her, she is an amazing woman and I would love to pick her brain now after the birth of her daughter [inaudible 00:41:25]. And just see how she's doing.
Jay:I love it. I think we can make that happen, surely. Surely we can connect the dots on that one. That would be fun.
Adam:Prime Minister of New Zealand, I love it.
Jay:Adam, we need more people from New Zealand on the show, let's work on that.
Adam:I do, I do. We're going to have to shift when we record the show, but I'm willing to do that.
Jay:That's true, yes. And let me just reiterate again, that ti's very early Saturday morning Cassie's time, so thank you so much.
Adam:Thank you Cassie..
Jay:For doing that.
Cassie:No problem.
Jay:That was very kind of you. For being on the show. And I know that everybody's welcome to stay with Cassie when you're over there in New Zealand, you're in Auckland, you just look her up, she'll take care of you.
Cassie:We've got space.
Adam:[crosstalk 00:41:57]
Cassie:That's right.
Jay:That's right, the social pros family will be knocking on your door for tours of Auckland. Cassie, thanks so much, please keep us up to date on how things are going. [inaudible 00:42:08] back on the show down the road a little bit and see how things are unfurling there for you at the Warehouse Group.
Cassie:Thank you both very much.
Jay:And ladies and gentlemen, don't forget to go to to get a look at that logo. And [crosstalk 00:42:21]. Maybe we'll drop in a little Elton John video for your enjoyment while your at And not only can you get this episode, and the transcript of this episode if you missed anything, but also every single other episode in the long history of this show. Every transcript, every audio, every link, everything we mentioned. You could lose yourself for quite a while at So if you're bored, and you're like, "Hey, I want to binge".
Adam:Binge podcast.
Jay:We've got the binge opportunity for you. Adam and I will be back next week with another spectacular guest like Cassie Roma on the social pros podcast. Until then make sure you're out there doing some of the things that Cassie talked about, make somebody care. That's the least you can do. I'm Jay Bayer from Convince and Convert, he's Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, this has been Social Pros.
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